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Burch elected president of Rotary Club of La Jolla

The Rotary Club of La Jolla has elected Bill Burch as its president for 2009-10. A member of the club for 15 years, he has served in several capacities that have prepared him for this leadership role.

Burch’s theme for the year, “Make it Meaningful” is a great fit for this club, as they measure every effort they make and every dollar they spend by how “meaningful” it is.

Burch said he is excited about his President’s Project, “which is quite an undertaking - but very attainable from a powerhouse club like this.”

Liberia, a country founded by freed U.S. slaves in the early 1800s, faces dire poverty and an infrastructure which has been decimated by years of civil unrest, he said.

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La Jolla Rotary’s plan starts with providing training for women who have inherited small coffee farms, now lying dormant, to give them the ability to raise the coffee, Burch said.

The club also plans to establish a microcredit bank to provide very small loans to the women. Members will also coordinate the selling the coffee and shipping it to San Diego, where it will be roasted and sold.

Burch said the funds will be put back into the program, so that it will be self sustaining.

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In addition, La Jolla Rotary will employ Liberian workers to dig wells and build public sanitation facilities in the country.

Burch said the Foundation for Women and Rotary International assisted in putting the program together.